Who we are

We are a governmental, not-for-profit research service, jointly funded by the NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), a part of the Department of Health.

We have been providing anonymised primary care records for public health research since 1987. Research using CPRD data has resulted in over 1,500 publications which have led to improvements in drug safety, best practice and clinical guidelines. Examples include confirming safety of MMR vaccine, informing NICE cancer guidance, safeguarding use of pertussis vaccine in pregnancy, influencing the management of hypertension in diabetics.

CPRD is now using primary care data in clinical trials. Examples include a real world diabetes studies comparing a new therapy to standard of care, and randomised controlled trials on myocardial infarction and COPD patients.

Join our expanding network of over 600 GP practices across the UK contributing primary care data to the Clinical Practice Research Datalink.

Benefits of Contributing Data to CPRD
  1. Public Health & Healthcare Benefit
    Primary care data from GP practices enable research that provides vital evidence to inform improvements in patient care and health outcomes.
  2. Business Benefit
    There is an opportunity to earn income from data validation studies, referring patients for clinical trials and acting as site investigators.
  3. Patient Benefit
    Reassuring your patients that your practice is at the forefront of improving evidence-based healthcare, including opportunities for the patients to take part in a range of clinical trials.
  4. Improving data quality
    We can provide practice-level information for quality improvement on recording of patient data and clinical care.

What we collect

CPRD collects the full coded patient medical record. These patient records are anonymised at source - the name, address, date of birth and NHS number are removed automatically at the practice before extraction. CPRD only receives and holds anonymised patient data. The anonymised primary care data are then linked to a range of ethically approved healthcare datasets.

Joining CPRD is simple; the practice needs to complete a one-off information form, and Data Sharing Agreements with CPRD and your primary care software supplier. Following this, the data will begin to flow with no further action required from practice staff. We can then contact you to offer income-earning research opportunities.

Who uses the data and how is it governed

Data are safeguarded by high levels of security, complying with comprehensive governance requirements. Data held by CPRD can only be used for public health research by bona fide researchers. All research applications to use CPRD data must have regulatory and ethics approval or have been reviewed by an independent scientific committee.